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A brake system flush on a 2004 Toyota Tundra?

My son has a 2004 Toyota Tundra with 40,000 miles on it. A Toyota dealer in Los Angeles convinced him that he needed to have new front brake pads and the rotors turned (which might be true). The dealer also sold him a “BRAKE SYSTEM FLUSH” for an additional $150.00. The Toyota factory recommended maintenance schedule says nothing about such a service.

I’ve heard of bleeding the brakes on older cars if they get air in the lines, but a “brake system flush” seems to be nothing more than BLEEDING THE CUSTOMER! Would anyone care to comment on what possible justification there is for this other than dealer service sales revenue enhancement?

If the Toyota Factory maintenance schedule doesn’t specify such a service you don’t need it done.

The dealer is just trying to pad his companys pocketbook.

The only time the brake fluid would require changing is if water was found in it.

The reluctance of some manufactures to recommend a brake fluid flush every 2 years is an error.IMHO. This is a case of when following the manufactures instructions are not in your best interest. Brake fluid is hydroscopic (it absorbs water) I dont need Toyota to tell me that water in my brake fluid is OK. BMW has been requiring brake fluid flushes every 2 years for at least the past 25 years. I have very infrequently had to preform repairs on the hydraulic part of the BMW brake system.Water free brake fluid will give better brake system performance. Replacing brake fluid is not a myth.But they sure did try to beat you up on the price. Takes 20min. tops. What ever happened with silicon brake fluid?

I can’t see your Toyota maintenance schedule from here, but it is very possible that the manufacturer does specify a brake fluid change every 30k. Some Japanese car and truck manufacturers do specify this maintenance procedure, but I can’t say for sure if Toyota does.

That being said, there is a difference between a drain/refill job and a flush, with the flush obviously being a more expensive–and probably unnecessary–procedure. I suggest (as I do very frequently) that you consult the maintenance schedule in your glove compartment regarding the possibility that you are supposed to change the brake fluid periodically. But a flush? Nope!

A few cars can actually benefit by a brake flush now and then. The problem is that many dealers and independent garages try to sell one to every customer who walks through the door. They don’t even check. The same is true for the transmission flush and the “air induction service,” or fuel injector cleaning. At least your son can be confident he can go another five years before considering another brake flush.

Usually a brake system flush is part of a brake job. Since brakes are a wear item, they won’t be on the PM schedule, therefore the fluid flush would also not be on the schedule. $150 for a flush sounds high to me though, but you did say Los Angeles.

BTW, you always flush a brake system if you haven’t removed any of the lines. You don’t “drain and refill” as that would unnecessarily introduce air into the system requiring a bleeding of the system after.

JMHO, but the brake fluid should be changed ever so often and at 5 years of age, it’s due. Brake fluid attracts moisture which in turn starts the corrosion process on master cylinders, calipers, wheel cylinders, etc. Aluminum does not rust but it will pit and once pitted it is recommended that the part be replaced rather than attempt a rebuild.

Now to address the question of why the maintenance schedule does not mention this. It’s simple. Car makers, and not just Toyota, promote the idea that their vehicles are close to maintenance free. Skip this, skip that, put this or that off until xxxx freezes over, etc. They don’t want the car owners to even consider for one minute the amount of money spent on preventative maintenance.

There’s a lot of other things that are not recommended that should be done no matter what the maintenance schedules state.
Transmission fluid should be changed at 30k miles intervals, fuel filters at 15-20k mile intervals, spark plugs should never be left in for 100k miles, etc, etc.
Some car makers even state that mechanical valve lifters should not be inspected/adjusted until well over a 100k miles or even never. This of course is also wrong headed. If the car makers feel so strongly about this issue then they should provide a lifetime warranty for that certain number of people who are going to suffer engine damage because they DID follow the recommendations to ignore it until whenever.

As I posted brake fluid flush on BMW is preventive maintiance has been for 25years. At some chains I worked at (Midas.Brake Masters AZ. Brake Max Pep Boys) it was always sold as a extra,never inclusive in a brake job. But I personally do think it should be part of a “brake job”. Come to think about it it was never inclusive at GM Honda or Kia